As you will be aware Exeter University Management have proposed a number of changes regarding pay, increments and progression for 2020/21.
These specific proposals are below:
- Suspending normal progression Increments for staff in grades E to H, which would normally be paid from August 2020.
- Not awarding any Performance Increments in 2020
- Suspension of Academic Promotions in 2020/21
- Suspension of Professorial Salary Review 2020
Exeter UCU Branch have only entered into negotiations on these proposals because they are an alternative to compulsory redundancies. Any changes made would be temporary and we will negotiate a collective agreement that stipulates dates for review, conditions for reinstatement and complete financial transparency from university management.
Any collective agreement reached will go to members and an eballot will be conducted.
Before we finalise any collective agreement with management, we need to update you on the current situation and also seek your views on alternative ways the university could save money, any alternatives to the proposals above and anything you believe the negotiating team should be taking to management.
Key points in the negotiations to date
- We have seen full financial projections that show the decrease in income
- We have requested the changes are not made until final student numbers are known. Management have provided figures that show the drop in commercial income, accommodation income and refunds and the drop in research income mean a saving is required now.
- Senior management have taken a 20% pay cut
- We have requested that Above and Beyond is suspended altogether and the savings used to allow scale point increases for Grades E and F. This is still in negotiation.
- We have received financial figures for the savings for each scale point not awarded. We continue to work on alternative suggestions.
- We have received assurances that if these proposals are accepted, it will negate the need for compulsory redundancies, at this point, to make the required savings. However, if student numbers were to plummet, this cannot be guaranteed for the next academic year.
- We have seen evidence that non staff costs been considered and savings actioned wherever possible.
- We have requested information on all fixed term contracts and casualised contracts to ensure that members on precarious contracts are not adversely affected by the need to make savings.
- As well as regular weekly meetings with HR, we are in addition meeting with HR specifically to discuss fixed term contracts and casualised contracts in light of the serious financial situation and our current claim, to ensure that this valued group of colleagues are fairly and equitably treated, and that all potential contract extensions, redeployment opportunities etc. are made transparent to staff, to avoid the unnecessary uncertainties and stress this group of staff are experiencing right now.
- We have requested a collective agreement is drawn up that stipulates the changes are temporary measures only. Specific expiry dates will be agreed in advance, with automatic reinstatement of full terms and conditions when these temporary measures expire. Regular review points will be agreed to ensure early reinstatement wherever possible.
- Agreement will be sought for future restitution of financial detriment suffered through temporary measures as soon as financial circumstances allow. The criteria to identify those circumstances will be agreed in advance.
The negotiating team is meeting with management on a weekly basis, therefore, we would be really grateful if you could respond as soon as possible to these proposals, so that we are able to represent member’s views and ensure these are captured in any collective agreement reached.